Artificial intelligence is fact, not fantasy!
Parth Desai, CEO and founder of Pelican, discusses why artificial intelligence (AI) is already fact not a fantasy, but cautions that we need to be realistic about what can really be achieved on the journey to true AI adoption in transaction banking and payments.
It’s very encouraging to read that respected firms such as Gartner are predicting that AI will be pervasive in all new products by 2020. And there are many discussions happening today about the potential of AI within financial services and how it will help to streamline processes and add value, but we also have to be very realistic about what is actually possible.
AI uses computing power and knowledge to simulate intelligent human behaviour and is undoubtedly already in play, particularly within the military and consumer worlds. But despite all the hype, and irrespective of the sector, it still has some way to go and should not be viewed as the panacea that will solve every single problem.
In our opinion, AI is a game changer, but early adopters in financial services should view this as an iterative journey which, over time, will develop and dramatically transform the overall user experience. Within the domains of transaction banking and payments compliance, we are already seeing adoption of AI which is addressing very specific labour intensive processes, for example, least cost routing and repairs, sanctions filtering etc. The next natural progression will be in the areas of investigations, product innovation and reduced time to market. In each use case AI has proven to help reduce and in some instances replace, monotonous, knowledge intensive and repetitive tasks that are normally performed by people.
But herein lies the crux of the matter, currently AI can actually only add value to processes which require high levels of human participation. This is where the AI techniques of Natural Language Processing and Deep Machine Learning really come into their own. It provides the ability to understand the interactions and intelligently develop insights from previous behaviours based on past experiences, events and behavioural data. It then repeats them when similar events occur and enables computers to learn to perform past actions automatically.
In the financial domain, the learning has to be conducted in a controlled and supervised manner where insights gained and the reasons behind its actions continue to be reviewed by humans to ensure accuracy and consistent application during automation. A major benefit of this is that once the context and actions are understood, machine learning will also derive new ways of improving by knowledge discovery. This enables the continued development of the intelligence capabilities through experience and changes in behaviours.
The financial industry is crying out for change and this is why we have introduced the concept of Intelligence Payments Management (IPM). Based on over 20 years of experience of being immersed in the understanding of AI, we believe IPM has the potential to transform the way every financial firm, and eventually, every corporate company will conduct business. Powered by the three key disciplines of AI – deep machine learning, natural language processing and knowledge based systems – IPM ensures machines can precisely process every payment and fully understand its purpose by applying human-like reasoning to every transaction.
Virtually every firm we speak to within the transaction banking and payments domains cite inefficiencies and the high dependency on human intervention as being major blockers. Many of these banks are struggling to cope with complex inefficiencies that are literally stifling opportunities to innovate at any level. This in turn is severely limiting their ability to quickly and efficiently create, and introduce new products and services, which satisfy the needs of an increasingly demanding customer base.
Whilst for many, the idea that all interactions between man and machine will be enriched through AI, it is still almost a futurist concept. However, based on our existing customer experiences, we know different and truly believe that IPM has the potential to radically reduce costs, accelerate product innovation and significantly reduce time to market. This will finally liberate the banks and enable them to quickly and cost-effectively develop next generation products which deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction, improved profitability and provide a clear advantage in a deeply competitive and increasingly crowded marketplace. Let the journey begin.